Augmedics, a developer of augmented reality surgical image guidance tools, raised $15 million in Series B funding, led by its U.S. staff.
In this nearly unheard of money-raising strategy, the company’s employees formed AUG Management LLC, a limited liability company, and raised $4 million.
The remainder of the funds came from existing shareholders AO Invest and Terralab Ventures, and undisclosed investors that provided $3.2 million and $7.8 million respectively.
Augmedics decided to raise money internally after the COVID-19 pandemic brought its investor activity to a standstill in March. That, paired with the lapse in elective procedures, such as spine surgeries that utilize its AR surgical tool, led the company to get creative.
“We are a team of problem solvers,” Tim Murawski, president and CCO of Augmedics said in a statement. “The creativity and ingenuity of our company began when Augmedics launched to solve a problem our founder saw in the operating room, and it runs through each and every employee who is working to make the vision a success. The global pandemic presented just one more hurdle for us to navigate as a team, and we believe it has only made the company stronger.”
WHAT THEY DO
Augmedics launched its xvision Spine System in the U.S. last December after getting the FDA nod. The AR tool gives surgeons a 3D image of the spinal anatomy of a patient directly in their line of sight during surgery, which allows surgeons to look at the patient instead of a remote screen.
During surgeries, doctors put on the xvision wireless headset. The device then shows the clinician a 3D anatomical projection that has high-speed visual tracking so they can determine the position of surgical tools in relation to the spine in real-time.
The tool was designed to give surgeons better control and visualization, according to a statement from Augmedics.
WHAT IT’S FOR
In addition to using these funds to expand its xvision Spine System, Augmedics plans to explore how it can integrate the xvision technology into other surgical applications.
The company says that its technology is meant to empower surgeons by giving them more control during surgeries.
Augmedics isn’t the only company looking to use AR and virtual reality in order to improve healthcare.
ON THE RECORD
“The dedication of our team and the leadership of President and CCO Tim Murawski is outdone only by the incredible innovation that they continue to demonstrate in the lab, in the field, and at the board table,” Nissan Elimelech, founder and CEO of Augmedics said in a statement. “The amount of money that the Augmedics employees committed to continuing operations shows how much they believe in what we are doing – in the technology, the strategy and the leadership – even in these uncertain times.”